Lifting Your Drooping Head | Revive Our Hearts Episode

Veronica: I’m Veronica from Michigan, and I am a Revive Our Hearts Monthly Partner. One reason that I support this ministry is that I know I can trust it to be scripturally sound and perfectly relevant to my day-to-day life. Thanks, Revive Our Hearts. Please enjoy today’s episode of Revive Our Hearts brought to you in part by the Monthly Partner team.

Dannah Gresh: Could you use some restoration? Some renewal? Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth says we’re needy like sheep.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: We have a shepherd who restores our souls when we’re weak—we’re weak from serving or weak from suffering. But he also renews us and restores us when we’re wavering. 

Dannah: This is the Revive Our Hearts podcast with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of A Place of Quiet Rest, for March 7, 2023. I’m Dannah Gresh.

Veronica: I’m Veronica from Michigan, and I am a Revive Our Hearts Monthly Partner. One reason that I support this ministry is that I know I can trust it to be scripturally sound and perfectly relevant to my day-to-day life. Thanks, Revive Our Hearts. Please enjoy today’s episode of Revive Our Hearts brought to you in part by the Monthly Partner team.

Dannah Gresh: Could you use some restoration? Some renewal? Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth says we’re needy like sheep.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: We have a shepherd who restores our souls when we’re weak—we’re weak from serving or weak from suffering. But he also renews us and restores us when we’re wavering. 

Dannah: This is the Revive Our Hearts podcast with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of A Place of Quiet Rest, for March 7, 2023. I’m Dannah Gresh.

We’re going to hear Part 2 of a message Nancy gave on a familiar passage, verses 2 and 3 of Psalm 23. But first, I just want to take a moment to thank you if you’re one of our Revive Our Hearts partners. Your regular donations to Revive Our Hearts are helping us reach people all around the world, including some individuals who aren’t necessarily in what we might call the target audience of Revive Our Hearts.

Not long ago we had a visit from Cammie and her husband Tom. They’re Revive Our Hearts partners. That means they support Revive Our Hearts with a donation of at least $30 each month. Well, they were able to join us at the Revive Our Hearts ministry center for a recording session.

Cammie: We were talking on the way here yesterday that he’s the one that’s worked and supported the ministry for my benefit, and he’s never been here or met you after all these years.

Nancy: Wow!

Cammie: So anyway, it’s really good to be here.

Nancy: Neat. Thank you, Tom. Just anything you’d want to express from a husband’s perspective?

Tom: My wife got connected to the ministry through reading one of your books, A Place of Quiet Rest. (Is that what it’s called?) She read it and then I read it because she said it was so good. And after that, she was hooked. This ministry has helped her get through some hard times, and it’s just really been a blessing for her and for me as her husband. I’ve benefitted quite a bit from the way this ministry has ministered to her.

Nancy: Sweet. Thank you, Tom. Appreciate that.

Dannah: Well, husbands aren’t the only side beneficiaries of this ministry. Here’s Nancy again.

Nancy: Let me just share with you a sweet letter. This will encourage you partners and even you non-partners, who can be partners if you want. I received in the last week. 

This is from a gal named Suzy in Cold Water, Mississippi.

Dear Mrs. Nancy,

I’m really excited because I’m writing you a letter. I love your podcast. My mom does, too. She’s been listening to you since she was twenty-three years old. That’s eleven years because she’s thirty-four right now. What’s more, you’ve inspired me to write a book for Christian girls. I need some advice. Is there a chance you could give me any? Oh, tell your husband I said “hi.” 

In case you’re wondering, I’m a ten-year-old girl. My name is Suzy. I listen to your podcast a lot. My favorite was the one with Rosaria Butterfield as speaker. My mom, Julie, has started an Adorned Bible study. I’ve always wanted to meet you, but I haven’t gotten the chance—yet. My mom is pretty and smart. She is so smart. I think she should speak on your podcast. Can you mention her name? Please, of course. 

We have, including me, eight kids. My mom’s pregnant with Tommy, number nine. If we have another girl, my mom’s going to name her Nancy Leigh in your honor. [Cool, huh? I don’t know if her mom knows this yet.]

We live on a farm with a lake and a shed. I go fishing a lot. I still hope that I can meet you one day. Maybe one day momma will be listening to your podcast, you’ll say her name, and she’ll be so surprised. Anyway, if you write me back, tell me how your life goes.



“S: Keep up your good work because: 1. I love podcasts. 2. You are serving God’s kingdom. I’m sure He’s very pleased.”

Well, let me just say for starters, I could read every word she wrote, which is more than I can say for my own handwriting! But how precious is that? You know, this ministry isn’t really targeted toward ten-year-olds directly. It’s targeted more toward their moms and their grandmoms. But God is at work in younger women and moms. I thought that was so sweet.

Dannah: That is sweet. I love hearing from our youngest listeners. So, if you’re a Revive Our Hearts partner, thank you so much. You’re helping us be a blessing in the lives, not only in the single women, wives, and moms, but also the friends, husbands, and children who are part of their lives. If you’d like to sign up to become a Revive Our Hearts partner, you’ll find all the details at our website, 

Now, here’s Nancy with Part 2 of the message she started yesterday. She shared this during the pandemic. It’s about Jesus, our Good Shepherd, who restores and renews our lives. She’s in the first several verses of Psalm 23.

Nancy: He leads me. He makes me lie down. This is not a one-time thing, it’s a way of life. That doesn’t mean that’s all we do. But it means there’s a regular, recurring rhythm and pattern in our lives of getting replenished. There are different ways to do that in different seasons. 

God gave in the Old Testament to His people the gift of the sabbath—one day a week. Six days work, one day don’t work. And God said, “I will provide for you enough in the six days that you won’t have to work on the seventh day.” But He said, “If you insist on working on all those days, you’re going to find you don’t have enough.

God will make enough for us if we take those times. The Old Testament believers . . . and I think there’s still a New Testament principle here. The New Testament application is that Christ is our sabbath rest. So, we don’t have to be Old Testament law about this. There’s something very healthy and beautiful about that gift of the sabbath that God gave. This is not something you have to do, this is something you get to do. 

So, to have that day a week that is a gift from God where we pause; we push pause; we linger; we change our rhythms. We don’t do the same thing we’re doing the other six days of the week. It is a gift. 

It’s a quiet time to start out your day, or wherever you put it in your day, that’s a part of a rhythm. This time for me journaling in the Bible, over the years I’ve done it different ways, but it’s a gift. Times when we turn off our phone. Periodic media fasts. Fasts from social media. I confess, this is a really hard thing for me. I find many times that my phone is the biggest disrupter of spiritual intimacy.

Now, Robert and I work really hard at not letting this interrupt our conversations. So we will have a meal, have a conversation, and we pull away from our phones. Why can’t we do that with the Lord? How much more do we need to do that with the Lord?

We need short breaks. And you know, in your season of life, that may be different right now than it will be a year from now. The pandemic has been a different thing for us. But there’s been opportunities to take short breaks to recenter, to focus, to get replenished. 

We can’t cram every waking moment with activity, with conversations. We need time for reflection. That means we need to periodically examine our schedules, examine our priorities, and examine our to-do list.

And those of you who have families, families need to do this, too. I see these younger women today who have families and they’re serving the Lord. They’re working, and they’re doing all kinds of things. I’m looking at them and I’m going, something’s got to give! Some of these women are women who love the Lord. They love ministry, they love families, but they’re doing so much! One of the things I say when I have the opportunity to speak into those women’s lives is, you don’t have to do it all now. There are seasons for everything. And then, their kids get involved in everything. 

It was a big deal for my sister. She married in her mid-thirties, and she and her husband had five kids right away. Well, not right away, but very quickly. My sister married a Honduran, and they’re all into soccer. They call it football. Those kids are all really good soccer players, and they had lots of opportunities. But my sister and her husband decided, “We’re not going to have our kids play travel soccer. Because if we do, we’re not going to have a family life.” That was a hard decision! It was hard for their kids. They gave them other opportunities. 

And that answer is for that family. It may be a different answer for your family. I’m looking over here at Monica. You’ve got six kids in different seasons of life. You have to perpetually recalibrate and say, “What is the season right now? What are your husband’s needs? What are your children’s needs?” And now Jen, you’re an empty-nester. Now that looks different for you than it did when your kids were in high school. But evaluating for yourself and your family—what can go right now?

Robert and I are talking about this. We’re talking about this at Revive Our Hearts. What are some of the rocks we can get off of my plate so that I can spend more time on the things that we believe would be most helpful to the ministry for me to be doing at this point. 

So, you apply it in your season of life. But we need time to think and examine our schedules and then make tough choices. Otherwise, if you try and do it all, you will end up frenetic and frazzled and frantic and frustrated, just like a woman we read about in the gospel of Luke. Her name was Martha. We don’t want to have that crazed aspect about us. 

Now, I’m not talking about being lazy. I’m not talking about shirking responsibility. I’m not talking about making it an easy life for yourself. We’re called to be diligent. We’re called to be soldiers. We’re called to be warriors. We’re called to work hard. But I am talking about ordering our lives around Jesus. Putting first things first. Getting our souls nourished and fed so that we can be ready for the battle. And that’s something we have to keep doing. 

So are you getting time in this season of your life? I know you’ve had time this week. But in this season of your life are you getting time to be quiet? To be still? To wait before the Lord? Is your spirit getting fed? Is it getting nourished? Jesus says that wonderful promise, “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you . . . rest.” What a sweet word. It’s a sweet gift. Jesus is our rest. He’s the one who releases the heavy burdens from us from trying to do things that other people are putting on us. Jesus says, “Get in the yoke with me, and I will give you rest.”

Well, let me just spend the last few minutes here on the first phrase of verse 3. “He lets me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters.” And here’s the outcome: “He renews my life.”

He renews my life. He restores my soul. That’s the more traditional translation. One paraphrase says, “He revives my drooping head.” I love that. You can just picture it. He renews my life. 

You know, the sheep have a tendency to wander away from the flock, to get lost. And so the shepherd goes out and finds them and leads them back. They can get turned upside down when their wool is heavy. They can get to where they can’t restore themselves; they can’t get right side up. They’ll die if they’re left in that condition. So, the shepherd finds them and turns them right side up. He restores them.

That word, “renew or restore,” means “to turn back, to turn around.” The basic meaning is, returning to a point of departure. In fact, in the Old Testament this word is often used to speak of being converted or repenting, to turn around, to go back to the point you left. So, it’s a concept of being restored, revived, refreshed, going back to a place of departure. 

And this verse, “he renews my life,” suggests that we need to be renewed. We need to be restored. We need to be restored and renewed when we’re weak, when we’re fainting, and when we’re wayward and failing—which covers a lot of times in our lives. He renews and restores when we’re weak and fading, when we’re weak from serving. We get weak and depleted and need to be refueled. We get weak from suffering. 

First Peter tells us that the God of all grace who calls us into His eternal glory in Christ will Himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered for a little while. Some of you have been through a really hard year. You’ve been through some hard things. We have, too. We have a Shepherd who restores our souls when we’re weak, when we’re weak from serving or weak from suffering. 

But he also renews us and restores us when we’re wayward. We’re failing. We’ve sinned and strayed and stumbled. Sheep have a tendency to wander off from the flock and get lost. Then darkness falls and they’re in danger, they’re going to be an easy prey for wild animals. They may fall off a cliff. When the shepherd discovers that one of those sheep has gone missing, he goes out and looks for the sheep and places it on his shoulder and carries it back to the sheepfold.

There are times in our lives when we sin. Maybe willfully. Maybe just leaving our first love. We need to be restored. And thank God we have a Shepherd who comes after us, by his Holy Spirit pursues us. He wants to restore us to fellowship with Himself.

Let me say, think about the things that restore you. Sometimes you say, “Oh, what I really need is a vacation,” or “What I need is to listen to some worship music.” Now, I’m all for vacations. I’m all for worship music. But you can do those things, you can do entertainment, you can do therapy, you can do medication, you can do lots of things to de-stress your life that won’t necessarily restore your soul. Nothing wrong with those things necessarily, but if you don’t in the process of all of that get to Jesus, your soul’s still going to be weary. Restoration ultimately is found in the person, the Shepherd of our souls.

You’ve heard the name George Muller. He was well-known in nineteenth-century England. He cared for hundreds and thousands of orphans. And it was a stressful job. He was always building new buildings for them to stay in and having to trust the Lord for food for these orphans. This was a huge need in England at the time and a way that the gospel got out. But there were a lot of pressures. Muller says in his journals that when he thought about all the things that he had to do, here’s where he landed with what was most important:

Above all things, see to it that your souls are happy in the Lord. Other things may press upon you. The Lord’s work may even have urgent claims upon your attention. But I deliberately repeat, it is of supreme and paramount importance that you should seek above all things to have your souls truly happy in God Himself. Day by day seek to make this the most important business of your life.

Listen, there’s nothing that you or I do for our families or for the ministry of Revive Our Hearts or for your local church or for anyone or anything else, that is more important than making sure that your soul is happy in God, that you are filled with him. Now, that’s not a happy, clappy, giddy . . . this is saying a deep soul satisfaction with Christ that sustains you through the hard places and the hard times. It gives you the grace and the fuel and what you need to go out and bless and minister to others. Day by day. 

What if we made that our goal between now and the next Ambassador Summit, day by day, seek to make this the most important business of your life—to have a soul that is happy in God. 

It would be a good thing to ask each other, Is your soul happy in God today? Are you taking time to get your soul happy in God?

That kind of life produces amazing fruit. One day, a man saw George Muller out walking and he said, “Had I not known him, I should have said he was a gentleman of leisure and without a care, so quietly did he walk and so peaceful and so stately was his demeanor. The twenty-third Psalm seemed written on his face.”

Wow! I’ll just confess that a lot of times that’s not what people see written on my face. They see cares; they see stress. Robert and I had a conversation the other day about something that was bothering me. It was a task I had to do that was hard. Robert said, “When you’re working on this, this cloud comes over you.” And he’s right. 

Now, you may have to do things that bring thunder clouds over you, but our souls can still have Psalm 23 written in them, and then Psalm 23 is written on our face. Is Psalm 23 written on your face? I mean, it is right now. This is an easy place for that. You’ve got the company of each other. You’ve got a team singing and leading us in worship. But what about next week? And the next week? And the next week? And when you’re in the trenches and you get tired and lonely and feel like nobody’s responding and nobody’s interested in what you’re trying to share with them, is Psalm 23 still written on your heart and on your face? 

When people look at us and see our countenance and our responses under pressure and in times of crisis—COVID, cancer, whatever—do they look at us and think, Wow! She has a good Shepherd? You see, our responses reflect on our Shepherd. 

And so, 

Take time to be holy. 

The world rushes on.

Spend much time in secret 

With Jesus, alone.

[And then that song goes on to end this way,]

By looking to Jesus, 

Like him thou shalt be.

Thy friends in they conduct, 

His likeness shall see.

(“Take Time to Be Holy” by William Longstaff)

Psalm 23 written on your spirit, on your soul, on your face, that’s going to make the world want to have that Shepherd. 

The LORD is my shepherd;

I have what I need.

He lets me lie down in green pastures;

he leads me beside quiet waters.

He renews my life.

And then, once he’s renewed us? He helps us go on. It says,

He leads me along the right paths

for his name’s sake.

Even when I go through the darkest valley,

I fear no danger for you are with me;

your rod and your staff—they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies;

you anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

[Your cup can’t overflow if it’s not been filled up.]

Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me

all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

as long as I live. 

Dannah: Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has been showing us a biblical picture of our good Shepherd who renews our lives. She’ll be right back to pray.

Psalm 23 is probably the most familiar psalm in the Bible, but I never get tired of meditating on it. We’ll have the chance to do that some more tomorrow with Pastor Colin Smith. We often hear Psalm 23 read at funerals. There’s a good reason for that. It speaks of comfort in the valley of the shadow of death, and living with God forever because of his goodness and mercy. 

Do you think anyone in heaven will be surprised to be there? I don’t know the answer to that question but I do know we’ll all be grateful to be there. One Bible character I would love to interview some day in heaven is the thief on the cross. You know, one of the men crucified next to Jesus, the one he told would be with him in paradise that day. 

Pastor Colin Smith wrote a book about that individual. It’s called, Heaven, How I Got Here: The Story of the Thief on the Cross. The whole thing is written from the perspective of the thief on the cross. It’s thought-provoking, and it’s also a great tool for telling others about Jesus. You could read it and then pass it on along to someone who needs to hear the good news. This week, Colin Smith’s book is our “thank you” for your donation of any amount in support of Revive Our Hearts. To find out more or to give, just visit, or call us at 1-800-569-5959. Now, here’s Nancy to pray:

Nancy: And oh Lord, how I thank You for these precious women who love You, love Your Word, love Your people. They love their families. They love serving You. They love serving with this ministry. What a gift they are. Some of them have been doing this for years. Some of them have been pouring out many hours a week in hard times and hard places and in churches and communities that maybe aren’t all that eager for their hearts to be revived. These women have been faithful servants. I thank You for them. Thank you for their hunger and their thirst, just seeing in their faces tonight the desire to know You, to be close to You, to linger in Your presence. 

And I pray, Lord, I don’t know what different ones are facing when they go back from this retreat, but I know that the world rushes on. If we don’t stop and let You take us to still waters and green pastures and feed us and replenish us and renew and restore and nourish us, then the world’s going to pull us, ministry will pull us a thousand different directions, and we end up having anything but Psalm 23 written on our faces. 

So Lord, take Your Word and take it deep down into our hearts and show us, show these women when they go back to their places, show me in this season of my life, what it looks like to live under the care of our Good Shepherd, our great Shepherd. 

Thank You for your provision, for Your protection, for Your promises, for Your direction. You are all that we need. So, I pray that You would fill these women up. May their cups overflow. May You fill them, not just with activity or busyness or tasks, but fill them with Your Spirit, with the fruit of Your Spirit. And maybe they’ll do less in some ways than what others might be able to get accomplished in a day. But I pray that the growth will be slow and steady and pure and rich and sweet and good. I pray that for myself. I pray that for our team. 

And Lord, may our lives honor and glorify You. May people say when they see us, “Wow! She must have a really good Shepherd!” And may they want to follow Him, follow You, with us. I pray a blessing on these women, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth wants others to see Psalm 23 written on your face. It’s part of your freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.

Similar Articles



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here



Most Popular